Essential Album: Jimmy Eat World – Clarity

Certain albums I’ve listened to throughout my lifetime are biographical. I can recall details of events that took place during the time any particular music in question was prevalent in my daily routines and otherwise. When listening to that music again I can remember the feelings of whatever specific time I associate it with, whether caused by the music or enhanced by it. I remember the trivialities of my life at that point and where the music fit in. There is nothing else in the world that has this same overarching impact. I certainly don’t remember a period of my life based on some food that I ate. I don’t know if this qualifies me as crazy or if others have had similar experiences, but music has the ability to define entire periods of my life.

I associate Jimmy Eat World’s Clarity with the summer following my freshman year of college. The album had been out for a while (2009 is its ten year anniversary) when I became aware of the band. My great friend and future best-man introduced me to Jimmy Eat World’s music. Since I was a poor college student I had been unable to buy the record until the latter part of my freshman year. Prior to my delayed purchase of Clarity I had ripped Static Prevails and downloaded three or four Bleed American demos off of Napster before the service went down. So, I was familiar with the band’s older as well as (at that point) unreleased music. Admittedly the way I chose to listen to the band’s music is odd. I liked the demos quite a bit so I wanted to bridge the gap between the first and third albums.

I waited until I owned the physical album to consume it in its entirety. Over summer break I started working at a local amusement park, which is where I met my co-conspirator on this blog. I didn’t have a CD player in my car, but I did have an adaptor to connect my Sony Discman to the tape deck. Without hesitation I can say I listened to Clarity every single day on my way to and from work and nearly every other instance I drove my car. All of the feelings of that summer and this album are melded into each other so that when I think of one, the other immediately comes to mind. I can listen to the album again and again as it never gets old for me. I periodically pop it in but I always have to listen to it in its entirety. I have no trouble believing it will stay fresh for years to come. It is a versatile album with numerous highs and lows and it is altogether enchanting.

I love this album, and as per usual I had trouble deciding which tracks from it to share.

Jimmy Eat World – Table for Glasses (mp3)

Jimmy Eat World – Lucky Denver Mint (mp3)

Jimmy Eat World – Ten (mp3)


2 responses to “Essential Album: Jimmy Eat World – Clarity

  1. Concerned in Thailand

    For some reason whenever I hear a song off this CD, it stirs an acute memory of freezing my a$$ off in my Sonoma while making a right turn onto Atsion Rd. back while I was in high school.

    So many better memories could have been formed while listening to this over the years, but nope… cold in a pickup truck.

    Album is still an all-time fav.

  2. I’m so with you on this album. It makes me feel 15 again whenever I hear it. My music taste has changed quite significantly since I first heard this record (naturally, as you say, its 10 years old now!) but I can still listen to it with the same love I had as a teenager. Crazy.

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